The Essence of Capitalism is a timely account of globalization, the consumer culture, and the historical roots of our contemporary dilemmas. By tracking the 130-year history of Coca-Cola (and a number of other large American or transnational ...
nsnational corporations), this book details all that is best, worst and most powerful about global capitalism.
Using Coca-Cola's rise as a case study, here is the tale of how Coca-Cola employed marketing and business practices that enabled it to expand beyond its original market (that which a horse-drawn cart could cover in a day) to -today's massive corporate status. Through the use of the franchise, extreme quality control and powerful marketing, it shows how Coca-Cola-a company with virtually one product that nobody actually needs and that is, in its original sugar-laden form, plainly very bad for people-went from being a feel-good tonic in competition with more than a thousand other similar drinks to being the major market force for soft drinks.
The book covers topics such as the creation of the idea of a corporation having the status of a person, how the money market works in the flow of capital, the effect of marketing and advertising on consumer tastes and how free trade really becomes oligopoly. By presenting a frightening set of examples, McQueen even joins the debate over what constitutes human nature when he demonstrates how corporations are creating a second nature by altering our needs, whether through the saturation of food with sweeteners or through genetic manipulation.
Humphrey McQueen, an original and provocative thinker, features regularly as a commentator on Australian radio, and as a contributor to various newspapers and magazines. He is the author of more than a dozen books on subjects ranging through history, politics and the visual arts.